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Report on the 36th Extended Council Meeting of AAPPS
Jun'ichi Yokoyama
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Report on the 36th Extended Council Meeting of AAPPS


Fig. 1: AAPPS council members and observers of the 36th extended council meeting at Pullman Kuala Lumpur Bangsar, Malaysia. Front row (left to right): Pradeep Bhattarai, Baonian Wan, Minn-Tsong Lin, Jae Il Lee, Fu-Jen Kao, Cristine Villagonzalo, Kuijuan Jin, Hatsumi Mori, Gui-Lu Long, Masaaki Tanaka, Seunghwan Kim; back row (left to right): Kurunathan Ratnavelu, Woo-Sung Jung, Hyoung Joon Choi, Xing Zhu, Ruiqin Zhang, Tohru Motobayashi, Mitsuru Kikuchi, Kazuhiro Tanaka, Jun'ich Yokoyama and Cathy Foley.

The 36th Extended Council Meeting of the Association of Asia Pacific Physical Societies (AAPPS) was held at Pullman Kuala Lumpur Bangsar Hotel in Malaysia on December 3, 2017. The meeting was hosted by the Malaysian Institute of Physics, preceding the fifth International Meeting on Frontiers of Physics (IMFP). The meeting was attended not only by the council members but also by presidents of member societies, division chairs, and the editor in chief of the AAPPS Bulletin. The participants were Gui-Lu Long (president), Fu-Jen Kao (vice-president), Jun'ichi Yokoyama (secretary), Hyoung Joon Choi (treasurer), Seunghwan Kim (special advisor), and council members Cathay Foley (Australian Institute of Physics [AIP]), Kuijuan Jin (Chinese Physical Society), Xing Zhu (Chinese Physical Society), Hatsumi Mori (Physical Society of Japan [JPS]), Masaaki Tanaka (Japan Society of Applied Physics [JSAP]), Woo-Sung Jung (Korean Physical Society, proxy to Sang Pyo Kim; executive director of the Asia Pacific Center for Theoretical Physics [APCTP]), Minn-Tsong Lin (the Physical Society located in Taipei), Kurunathan Ratnavelu (Malaysian Institute of Physics), and Ruiqin Zhang (Physical Society of Hong Kong). The meeting was observed by Mitsuru Kikuchi (AAPPS-DPP [Division of Plasma Physics] chair), Baonian Wan (AAPPS-DPP chair-elect), Kazuhiro Tanaka (AAPPS-DNP [Division of Nuclear Physics], chair); Jae Il Lee (Korean Physical Society, president), Pradeep Bhattarai (Nepal Physical Society, president), Cristine Villagonzalo (Physics Society of the Philippines, president); Tohru Motobayashi (AAPPS Bulletin, editor-in-chief); Eunjeong Lee (AAPPS, liaison officer), Changho Kim (APCTP) and Jiheon Kim (APCTP).

(1) The secretary reported the presence of 14 out of 16 council members, including one proxy, and the quorum was met. He also expressed appreciation to Professor Kurunathan Ratnavelu and the Malaysian Institute of Physics for hosting this meeting.

The president opened the 36th council meeting, welcomed all the participants, and mentioned that since the last meeting in April in Xi'an a number of events took place, including the annual conference of DPP in Chengdu and opening ceremony of the headquarters of AAPPS in Pohang.

(2) The agenda was adopted as prepared by the secretary, with some changes in the order.

(3) The minutes of the 35th meeting were officially approved, and they have already been published in the June 2017 issue of the AAPPS Bulletin.

(4) Treasurer Hyoung Joon Choi reported on the financial status of AAPPS, reviewing account activities over the year. He explained each spending and revenue item and reported that the current balance is about USD 44000 while the carry over in the beginning of the year was USD 50000. These figures excluded expenditures for the Bulletin and the donation from the Leo KoGuan foundation was not included here. The treasurer reported that we were spending more than the revenue this year but that next year the situation would be improved as the membership fee will be raised to $500 and there would be only one council meeting.

(5) Woo-Sung Jung, executive director of APCTP, explained the status of cooperation between AAPPS and APCTP. As approved by the council meeting in December 2016, APCTP is acting as the headquarters of AAPPS. He also mentioned that APCTP would continue financial support of USD 30000 annually to division activities and explained the procedure to receive the support, i.e. every year the chair of each division must apply for it in September. The support must be used for travel and local expenses of participants of a single activity from the member countries of APCTP. He also mentioned the possibility of other kinds of administrative support to divisions, such as the utilization of a mailing system, but there are technical problems that hampers the realization of these kinds of support.

Next, he reported that APCTP had secured about USD 16000, which should be used either to launch a new journal or to strengthen the AAPPS Bulletin by publishing more scientific papers. Jung mentioned that the extra scientific papers in AAPPS Bulletin must be published in the APCTP section. After some discussion on the Bulletin, it was confirmed that we should aim for "Physics Today in Asia Pacific", at least for the time being. Discussion on the possibility to launch a new journal was also briefly discussed. It was pointed out that we should be very careful in selecting a publication partner and that the new journal, if at all, should not interfere with other existing journals in the region.

APCTP has also proposed extending the C.N. Yang Award of AAPPS to make it an annual one, with the financial support of APCTP. The condition would be that the awardee must write an article in the AAPPS Bulletin and that the award ceremony must take place in Pohang. It was proposed that the ceremony should be held on an occasion with a larger audience, such as the Asia Pacific Physics Conference (APPC) or the annual meeting of the member society to which the awardee belongs. The council approved the measure to make the AAPPS's C.N. Yang Award into a joint one with APCTP. Foley suggested that the selection committee should be carefully established with the proper gender diversity.

The president proposed that Secretary Yokoyama and Executive Director Jung should draft the structure of the committee, which was approved.

(6) Hatsumi Mori and Cathay Foley introduced activities on the Women in Physics working group (WIC), starting with an account of its history, and explained possible strategies to promote gender diversity in various countries. It was proposed to put the rules of WIP on the website of AAPPS. Kurunathan Ratnavelu invited WIP to communicate with the local organizing committee of the next APPC as more than 65% of physics undergraduate students are women in Malaysia.

(7) Ratnavelu reported on the current status of the preparations for APPC of 2019. The latest news is that the Malaysian government has agreed to support USD 40000 to the conference, in addition to the prior guarantee of support of USD 30000 from the local government of Salawak. Three of the council members, namely, Xin Zhu, Jun'ichi Yokoyama and Kurunathan Ratnavelu, as well as Woo-Sung Jung visited the conference city, Kuching (meaning cat in the local language), the day before the council meeting. They inspected three hotels, some having their own conference facilities, and the Borneo Convention Center. The facilities were all world class, with affordable rates of up to USD 80 per night, even at a five-star hotel. Xin Zhu added that he was extremely impressed with the warm welcome of the local people, especially by the Salawak convention bureau. He also mentioned that they would work to have highly ranked international researchers in attendance in order to enhance the total number of participants. It was noted that the period of the conference would be from November 17 to 21, 2019, which is just before the rainy season. President Long suggested writing to the presidents of each member society to remind them of the conference date and to ask them to further publicize the conference. EIC Motobayashi stressed that based on his past experiences, APPC is unpopular yet even among the member societies and that more efforts are needed to attract more participants from local societies and divisions. DPP Chair Kikuchi mentioned that the division's annual meeting should be held synchronously there to enhance the number of participants. Xin Zhu, on the other hand, mentioned that APPC should not be a collection of division meetings but rather should be organized in a coherent manner. Seunghwan Kim mentioned that APPC was in a transitional period and both the main organizing committee and division representatives should cooperate together.

President Long proposed Xin Zhu (head), Kurunathan Ratnavelu (local representative), Jun'ichi Yokoyama (secretary), to form a committee in charge of the APPC14.

(8) Mitsuru Kikuchi made a report as the chair of the working group of publication. He explained the publication of Reviews of Modern Plasma Physics, which is a review journal published by DPP through Springer. He also explained the situation of the American Physical Society (APS) and the European Physics Society (EPS) regarding publication and stressed that we should have strong journals in the Asia Pacific region in order to avoid the outflow of work in this region to elsewhere.

(9) Vice President Fu-Jen Kao reported that, about a month ago, AAPPS had sent a letter to the president of each member society about division formation to ask for the nomination of representative persons from each society to contribute to the formation of several specific divisions. So far, only PS located in Taipei and PS of Hong Kong have responded. JPS and JSAP are now conducting a survey to their divisions to inquire as to how they can cooperate with AAPPS regarding division formation.

Kao stressed that APPC would be a good venue to enhance division activities as the travel costs to Kuching is not so high, even compared to costs of domestic high speed train fares. Ratnavelu mentioned that the local organizer plans to invite 40 young participants from the Asia-Pacific region. It was recommended that the registration fee for students and postdocs should be kept at most to USD 200 while the regular fee for participants would be required to be around USD 450.

In the letter sent to the presidents of the member societies, we have put forth the possibility of the formation of the following divisions: neutron scattering; optics and photonics; quantum information science and technology; physics education; biomedical physics; computational physics; and high energy physics. Minn-Tsong Lin stressed that a bottom-up approach is also important. Foley mentioned that there was only one council meeting in AIP every year and so it would take some time to respond. Bhattarai explained the situation in Nepal.

(10) Former President Kim reported on issues of membership and fellowships. He reported that AAPPS and APS had reached an agreement of reciprocal membership and it had already been signed by AAPPS President Gui Lu Long and was to be signed by APS CEO Kate Kirby. According to the agreement, our members can register in about 20 annual meetings of APS with their member rate. Most of the member societies have already a bilateral agreement with APS, but as some societies don't, they will benefit from this agreement. To receive the benefit, individuals must be registered as a member of AAPPS, which marks a significant structural change, since so far only societies can be a member.

The second issue concerns AAPPS fellows. In the previous council meeting we agreed to initiate a fellowship process but the details for such a process had been postponed. The proposals are as follows: Fellowship is lifelong and a fellow must have made an outstanding contribution to the advancement of physics and to the society. The selection of fellows will be made annually from several channels of nominations, such as those from member societies, divisions, and existing fellows etc. A dedicated committee, which as pointed out by Foley, should have a diverse membership, will review each nominee and make a selection with the final approval to be made by the council. Initially, the chair of the committee should be appointed by the president of AAPPS. As proposed by President Long, Nobel laureates from the region should become honorary fellows and past presidents of AAPPS are also being considered as fellows. While the details of benefits and responsibilities are to be determined later, each fellow is asked to pay the fellowship fee. Starting with 20 fellows, by the time of the next APPC Kim expects to have 40 fellows, with 100 fellows three years later, as APS has fellows whose numbers are 1.5% of the total members.

As a deputy chair of the election committee of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, which selects 26-28 fellows annually, Foley explained how difficult it is and how painstaking efforts are required for the proper selection of fellows. She also mentioned that selection criteria, namely, whether fellowship is selected purely on scientific achievement or a combination of scientific outcomes and service to the community, etc., should be clarified. President Long suggested we proceed toward establishing an AAPPS fellowship and work out the details later, appointing Seunghwan Kim as the chair, which was approved by the council. Kikuchi mentioned that the required qualifications to be a fellow should be clearly defined.

(11) Secretary Yokoyama said he had seen the secretary general of newly formed physical society of Kazakhstan, who expressed that they wish to join the AAPPS. Currently, however, our constitution defines the relevant region in a way not including Kazakhstan, simply because it was written when the Soviet Union was still in existence. After some discussion, although in principle, we must amend the constitution to include Kazakhstan, which is an act that must be handled by the OGM, we agreed to have Kazakhstan as a member and recommended it to OGM without touching the boundary issue.

(12) Secretary Yokoyama explained the draft of the Rules on Sponsorship, Co-sponsorship, and Endorsement of Activities, which was made together with Ruiqin Zhang referring to the rules adopted by some societies including JPS, JSAP, and pattern recognition society. After some discussion and modification, the rule was unanimously approved by the council as shown in the appendix.

(13) After the lunch break, discussion on division formation was resumed. First, Minn-Tsong Lin proposed a new division on two dimensional materials. Vice President Kao proposed to invite Dr. Flatten to the next council meeting and then invite the presidents of EPS and APS to APPC to promote international cooperation throughout divisions. He also mentioned members of the council could be key persons for division formation.

Foley mentioned WIP satisfies all the criteria of a division since the working group is an informal one. After substantial discussion, it was decided to set the bylaws of the working group and post it at the website before making it a division. The council supports Cathay Foley to take charge of formalizing WIP.

Kikuchi proposed to distribute the bylaws of three existing divisions together with an application package to help those who are planning to make a new division.

Xin Zhu said division names should be simple and concise. On the other hand, if its name is too broad, such as "condensed matter", no one would likely take responsibility for such a large division. In order to enhance international cooperation with EPS and APS, it is desirable to use the same classification system throughout all the societies.

On the basis of these opinions, we sorted out the possible names of divisions to be formed as follows; Condensed matter: I phonons, II magnetism, and III topological matter and 2D materials. These condensed matter divisions will be taken care of by Choi, Lee, Lin, Masaaki Tanaka, and Foley, from the council. Other names of proposed divisions with the representative person's name from the council are as follows: computational physics (Zhang); physics education (Kao); biological and medical physics (Kao); quantum information (Long); quantum electronics and photonics (Kao will find a representative); and neutron scattering (Robinson and Bhattarai). Other possible names of divisions include optics and photonics and high energy physics.

(14) Discussion on financial issues: For sustainable operations it is said that we need USD 65000 annually, including Bulletin expenses of $35000, and $15000 for a council meeting. This council meeting in Malaysia, however, is managed by the in-kind support from the Malaysian Institute of Physics, which is spending $4000. Hence, $15000 is an overestimate. Secretary Yokoyama mentioned that this in-kind support from Malaysia, which became possible by combining another conference as well as preparations for APPC, should be properly taken into account to the balance sheet of AAPPS, and their membership fees should be discounted. It would be very nice if those countries, which have difficulties in transferring the membership fee to a foreign account, could contribute to AAPPS by hosting council and other AAPPS meetings by combining them with local events, instead of transferring the membership fees to a foreign account. We should seek an equilibrium point in this regard.

If the budget of AAPPS increases further, the AAPPS account in Korea, which is now registered with the name of the treasurer, must be registered as a legal entity. This will be managed by treasurer Choi. Taxation is also a potential problem. President Long mentioned that in future we wish to have revenues from conferences and publications besides membership fees.

(15) Further discussion on membership: Seunghwan Kim stressed that in order to make the agreement with APS go into effect, we must define individual membership of AAPPS and collect fees from them. Kikuchi expressed concern about it although he originally proposed to have such an agreement with APS. Lin explained how the membership is defined in the physical society located in Taipei, which does not collect membership fees but instead regard those who have attended its meetings as members. President Long mentioned that members of member societies as well as divisions should be regarded as members of AAPPS, and in the future may collect an annual membership fee, to which Kikuchi disagreed since DPP promised its members to collect no membership fees. As the Chair of the next APPC Kurunathan Ratnavelu expressed his concern about profit sharing with AAPPS as this was not discussed and communicated to the Malaysia Institute of Physics at the 33rd AAPPS Council Meeting in Jan 2016 at Tsinghua University. This is quite critical issue as the Malaysian Institute of Physics (IFM) had applied for various fundings where it was stated that they are not sharing the profits with international bodies. This will have impact on the final drawdown of funds from the sponsors. Masaaki Tanaka mentioned it would be very difficult to collect membership fees from individuals because they cannot see any benefit. For the Philippines, the agreement with APS will be very useful, but updating its member list may require careful treatment. It was reported that EPS receives much bigger fees from member societies.

(16) After a break, the chair was changed to Yokoyama, and Kikuchi led a discussion on publication issues. He stressed that journals publishing general physics were declining in their impact factors except those published by APS, and that it would be very difficult to create a new journal with high impact factor in the region; we need a strong EIC, but this is not sufficient. Jung explained that the idea from APCTP was to create a magazine similar to Physics Today, but with more scientific articles than the AAPPS Bulletin, or to modify the Bulletin to include some scientific articles. EIC Motobayashi mentioned the second idea was feasible, but that should we take the first option, the AAPPS Bulletin should be modified to just a newsletter like e-EPS. The extra budget APCTP had secured was USD 16000 this year and they would expect more later.

APCTP has also contacted Springer for possible cooperation of publishing the Bulletin, which was willing to let us use their review system for free, although sustainability is an issue. Masaaki Tanaka explained the publication strategies of JSAP, which chose IoP as the partner among the four companies they interviewed, since private companies could be unstable.

Jung explained that the extra support from the Korean government was provided to publish a scientific journal. To fulfil this requirement, the AAPPS Bulletin must publish scientific articles with review processes. Our immediate goal is to publish more than 24 scientific papers a year in the Bulletin.

Masaaki Tanaka reported that to make the Bulletin more popular, JSAP had been sending e-mail alerts to all its members every time a new issue was published, including the issue's contents. The president will write a letter to the president of each member society to request the same.

In conclusion, we agreed to move toward publishing 24 peer-reviewed scientific papers a year in the AAPPS Bulletin and we are extending the editorial board for this purpose, with more experts on condensed matter physics.

(17) Former President Kim returned to the issue of the member list as a counterpart of APS. Lin explained that the physical society located in Taipei asked each participant of its meetings whether members would inform his/her identity to APS to enjoy the benefits of reciprocal agreement. Motobayashi mentioned that when he organized APPC in Japan, he asked all the presidents of the member societies to send the information of the conference to their members but many member societies were not equipped with the full list of their members—even JPS grasps e-mail addresses of only 70% of its members. JSAP is able to contact all of its members via email, since it regularly sends e-mail news to its members.

We have agreed to inform those member societies which do not have the reciprocal agreement with APS to encourage their members to sign up to register their identities (name, e-mail, and the society s/he belongs to) to enjoy the benefits of reciprocal agreement as an AAPPS member through a website the association will make for this purpose. It was not agreed to send this information to members of existent divisions. Of course, those who are already a member of societies which have a reciprocal agreement do not need to register. Student members of each society can also sign up.

(18) EIC Motobayashi reported on the publication status of the AAPPS Bulletin. He nominated Jan-e Alam at Variable Energy Cyclotron Centre in India as a new member of the editorial board, which was unanimously approved by the Council. Thanks to a new advertisement worth USD 6000 and a donation of USD 10000, this year we have a positive balance. We publish 1600 copies in print and have about 1000 downloads for each issue. E-mail alerts should be sent by each member society; currently only JSAP is doing so. It is still difficult to get an SCI index. Board members' expertise does not cover all the fields of physics at this point, which certainly requires improvement. A website for mobile users is also under consideration.

(19) DPP Chair Kikuchi reported on the activities of the Division of Plasma Physics over the year. The highlight was the annual conference held in Chengdu. They also have new awardees of the Chandrasekhar Prize as well as a young scientist prize. Cooperation with the plasma divisions of APS and EPS was also reported.

(20) DNP Chair Kazuhiro Tanaka reported recent activities of the division of nuclear physics, which is essentially based on the Asian Nuclear Physics Association (ANPhA). Its council meeting was held in September at the time of its conference. DNP is also organizing a session in the International Meeting on Frontiers of Physics (IMFP) to be held in Kuala Lumpur subsequent to this council meeting. They have also established a young scientist award. Cooperation with the European counterpart was also reported.

(21) Slate for the next council meeting: APCTP proposed to host the next council meeting on Sunday, November 4, which was approved.

(22) The DACG secretary general reported on activities of the division of astrophysics, cosmology and gravitation on behalf of chair Misao Sasaki. Conferences endorsed by the division were reported. The annual face to face meeting would be held in the week after the council meeting in Kyoto on the occasion of the International Symposium on Cosmology and Particle Astrophysics (CosPA2017) at the Yukawa Institute for Theoretical Physics. They have set a discount registration fee for members and for those who come from outside of the region covered by AAPPS, so that members of APS, EPS, etc. can enjoy the same discounted rate as DACG members without any reciprocal agreements. The registration fee for the DACG members also includes the administrative fees for future DACG activities for its sustainable operation.

The council meeting was concluded at 18:00.

Appendix: The Rules on Sponsorship, Co-sponsorship, and Endorsement of Activities by the Association of Asia Pacific Physical Societies. Approved by Council on December 3, 2017.

Article 1 (Purpose) These articles determine principles and procedures related to the sponsorship, co-sponsorship, and endorsement of activities such as international conferences, workshops, and schools (hereafter referred to as an activity collectively) by The Association of Asia Pacific Physical Societies (hereafter referred to as the Association).

Article 2 (Definitions)

(1) "Sponsorship" refers to the Association holding an activity and being responsible for it.

(2) "Co-sponsorship" refers to more than one organizing body, including the Association or its Division, jointly holding an activity.

(3) "Endorsement" refers to the Association approving the purpose of an activity held by a third party, and providing support for publicizing it to the members of the Association or its Divisions.

Article 3 (Criteria) In order to be sponsored, co-sponsored, or endorsed by the Association, an activity must satisfy the following criteria.

(1) It must contribute to the promotion of physics in Asia-Pacific. In case it is held outside the region covered by the Association, members of the member societies of the Association must be treated on the same footing as the members of the main organizing body.

(2) It must be organized in such a way to carry out and communicate scientific work with integrity, respect, fairness, trustworthiness, and transparency.

(3) It must be free from discrimination based on such factors as ethnic origin, religion, citizenship, language, political or other opinion, gender, sexual orientation, or disability.

(4) It must not receive financial support and/or in kind contribution from any military-related fund or organization, nor serve for any military purpose.

Article 4 (Financial responsibilities)

(1) The Association shall bear all financial responsibilities for an activity that it sponsors, and all property of such activities shall belong to the Association.

(2) The financial responsibilities and property of activities that the Association co-sponsors shall be set forth in a separate memorandum of understanding (MOU).

(3) When sponsoring or co-sponsoring an activity, accounting shall be handled as stipulated in the Association's business plan.

(4) The budget for sponsored and co-sponsored international conferences shall be included in the Association's annual budget for the following fiscal year(s).

(5) The Association shall not take any financial responsibility to activities that the Association endorses.

Article 5 (Application and Decision)

(1) Requests for the Association's sponsorship, co-sponsorship, or endorsement of an activity shall be made using the designated application form and submitted to the Association's secretary (hereinafter referred to as "secretary").

(2) The Association's Council shall deliberate on and decide whether to approve a request for sponsorship, co-sponsorship, or endorsement based on the written request. Approval is made by the simple majority of the Council.

Article 6 (Administrative expenses) If the Association approves the request for sponsorship or co-sponsorship, the sponsoring organization shall pay the Association the separately defined expenses as actual administrative expenses. (This fee is set to be free for the moment.)

Article 7 (How the name of the organization is to be written) If the Association sponsors, co-sponsors, or endorses an activity, the Association's name should appear appropriately as follows.

(1) Sponsorship: Sponsored by the Association of Asia Pacific Physical Societies (AAPPS).

(2) Co-sponsorship: Co-sponsored by the Association of Asia Pacific Physical Societies (AAPPS).

(3) Endorsement: Endorsed by the Association of Asia Pacific Physical Societies (AAPPS), In cooperation with the Association of Asia Pacific Physical Societies (AAPPS), or Supported by the Association of Asia Pacific Physical Societies (AAPPS).

Article 8 (Application Due)

(1) As a general rule, the sponsoring organization shall submit application for sponsorship or co-sponsorship at least 18 months before the activity is to be held.

(2) Application for endorsement shall be submitted at least 4 months in advance.

Article 9 (Reporting obligation) The sponsoring organization shall submit a report on the activity to the secretary within 6 months after the event.

AAPPS Bulletin        ISSN: 0218-2203
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